Your space and workout needs will dictate what type of weight bench is best for you. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when making your purchase.
✔️ Stability: “When choosing a weight bench, stability is essential,” White says. “Look for a bench with a sturdy frame and broad feet to prevent wobbling. The padding should be dense yet comfortable, allowing for prolonged workouts without discomfort.”
Horton also adds that it’s important to pay close attention to the weight limit. “This will usually give you a good idea of the stability of the bench,” he says. “Even though you may not need a bench that can hold 1,500 pounds, it’s generally going to be a much better quality than one that is rated for 500 pounds.”
✔️ Size: “Consider what space is available and what size you will need for your training purposes,” Kleinberg says. “A bench that is too narrow will not feel stable when pressing heavy weights, and a bench too wide will interfere with your range of motion and can alter mechanics.” He also adds that if you typically train at a gym but want something to complement your regimen at home, try to find a bench that is similar in size.
For reference, the US Powerlifting Association recommends the following dimensions:
- Length no less than 1.22 m
- Width no less than 29 cm and no wider than 32 cm
- Height no less than 42 cm and no higher than 45 cm as measured from the floor to the top of the padding
✔️ Fixed vs. Adjustable: If you’re looking to engage in a variety of exercises, a bench with adjustable features may be ideal. “A good adjustable bench should offer multiple incline and decline angles,” White says. If you prefer a fixed bench, they typically come at a lower price point.
✔️ Price: “A weight bench is an invaluable piece of equipment for anyone serious about strength training,” White says. “It’s essential to invest in a quality bench to ensure safety, effectiveness, and longevity.”
Kleinberg adds that if the bench is going to see a lot of use, investing in something high-quality will save money in the long run and provide a much better training experience. “Frequently, lower priced benches are made of lower quality steel, are less stable and have a lower weight capacity,” Kleinberg says.
✔️ Special features: “There are some frills to consider,” Kleinberg notes. “A handle on the front leg and wheels on the back are nice for moving the bench around.” He also says that since padding eventually wears down or compresses, purchasing a bench with a standard pad attachment allows replacement.